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Addictive behaviors and the abuse of substances are a growing concern in society.
Addiction recovery and the related mental health challenges are complex issues with many intertwined elements. Substance abuse and the opioid epidemic grabs the headlines; but issues of stigma, isolation for those fighting addiction (and their support networks), anxiety and depression, and other issues that often lead to addiction also challenge the Jewish community.
“Judaism as a Program for Living Well” is an emerging initiative of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. It will generate a broader response to challenges of addiction and mental health recovery in our Jewish community. It is an effort to nurture a caring and inclusive community through the Federation’s role of convener, thought leader and catalyst for collaboration.
We are working to:
Suicide Prevention Lifeline
24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Your call is routed to the nearest crisis center in the national network of more than 150 crisis centers.
SAMHSA‘s (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration) National Helpline
Also known as, the Treatment Referral Routing Service, this Helpline provides 24-hour free and confidential treatment referral and information about mental and/or substance use disorders, prevention, and recovery in English and Spanish.
National Drug Helpline
Alcohol & Drug Helpline
Al-Anon for Families of Alcoholics
Addictive behaviors and the abuse of substances are a growing concern in society. The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington seeks to be an inclusive and caring community. We are working to:
In order to achieve these goals, Federation is implementing the following initiatives to bring greater access to Addiction Prevention resources to members of the Greater Washington community:
MYTH 1: “Overcoming addiction is simply a matter of willpower. You can stop using drugs if you really want to.” Prolonged exposure to drugs alters the brain in ways that result in powerful cravings and a compulsion to use. These brain changes make it extremely difficult to quit by sheer force of will.
MYTH 2: “Addiction is a disease; there’s nothing you can do about it.” Most experts agree that addiction is a brain disease, but that doesn’t mean you’re a helpless victim. The brain changes associated with addiction can be treated and reversed through therapy, medication, exercise, and other treatments.
MYTH 3: “Addicts have to hit rock bottom before they can get better.” Recovery can begin at any point in the addiction process—and the earlier, the better. The longer drug abuse continues, the stronger the addiction becomes and the harder it is to treat. Don’t wait to intervene until the addict has lost it all.
MYTH 4: “You can’t force someone into treatment; they have to want help.” Treatment doesn’t have to be voluntary to be successful. People who are pressured into treatment by their family, employer or the legal system are just as likely to benefit as those who choose to enter treatment on their own. As they sober up and their thinking clears, many formerly resistant addicts decide they want to change.
MYTH 5: “Treatment didn’t work before, so there’s no point trying again.” Recovery from drug addiction is a long process that often involves setbacks. Relapse is common, doesn’t mean that treatment has failed or that you’re a lost cause. Rather, it’s a signal to get back on track, either by going back to treatment or adjusting the treatment approach.